Reporter Gives Coronavirus Nurse Wearing Garbage Bag His Personal Protective Equipment

A CBS reporter interviewing staff at an intensive care unit in Brooklyn gave a nurse his personal protective equipment after she revealed she was wearing a garbage bag.

The nurse, working at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, asked only to be identified as K because she fears getting threats from patients' family members who are not allowed to visit.

"It's like something out of the Twilight Zone," she told journalist David Begnaud. "I don't think any of us going through it will ever be the same."

K said she wanted a mask like the face shield Begnaud was wearing, which was from CBS News' limited supply to use in covering coronavirus stories.

"I'd like all of us to have masks like yours. And these white suits that you have," she told him.

She said staff members were wearing garbage bags over their scrubs and many people used sanitizing wipes to clean their gear. Begnaud later gave his face shield to K after sanitizing it.

Doctors at the hospital said people of all ages were in critical condition.

"A lot of our patients are presenting with severe respiratory distress, and it's very acute. They were fine and they had some cough and then they weren't fine," said Dr. Joshua Rosenberg, a critical care doctor who also specializes in infectious diseases.

One man in the ICU who was in his early 50s "really didn't have much underlying conditions," but "has developed severe respiratory failure, as well as kidney damage from the virus," Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg said the man was put on a breathing tube to save his life.

"He's requiring pretty much 100 percent oxygen, and he's requiring a lot of air to help keep his lungs inflated," Rosenberg said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state recorded its highest single-day increase in virus deaths on Tuesday, with 731 deaths reported. There are 5,489 deaths and over 140,000 infections in New York state, according to Johns Hopkins University.

"Behind every one of those numbers is an individual, is a family, is a mother, is a father, is a brother, is a sister. So, a lot of pain again today," Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany.

The U.S. recorded the most coronavirus deaths in a single day with more than 1,800 fatalities reported on Tuesday, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to over 12,900, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Of the almost 400,000 cases in the U.S., over 22,400 have recovered.

The governor urged people to stay inside and continue with social distancing, while avoiding large gatherings over Passover and Easter. "I know it's hard but we have to keep doing it," he said.